2020 Democrats: Where do the Presidential candidates stand?
NIAC Action has urged all 2020 Presidential candidates to make two key commitments: to return the U.S. into compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement and to repeal the Muslim Ban.
President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord and inhumane sanctions have undermined U.S. credibility, made America and the world less safe, and brought us to the brink of war. Returning to the international agreement without preconditions is the only sensible way for the United States to reverse the damage, restore Iran’s compliance with far-reaching nuclear concessions and reestablish diplomatic opportunities squandered by President Trump’s dangerous escalations.
President Trump’s Muslim Ban, imposed in his first week in office and still in effect after court-ordered revisions, continues to separate Iranian-American families and institutionalize discrimination against our community. The next president should make it a top priority to reverse this discriminatory, un-American policy on their first day in office in order to undo its continued harm.
There are many other issues important to the Iranian-American community and pro-peace allies that NIAC Action would like to see Presidential contenders weigh in on, some of which we have directly encouraged the campaigns to comment on. In the tracker, we include some of the top tweets from candidates of interest to our community, including tweets condemning Iran’s brutal November crackdown on protesters; warnings against a march to war; comments on the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani; condemnations of President Trump’s outrageous threat to target Iranian cultural sites; and tweets on deportations of Iranian students and harassment of Iranian Americans at the border.
Vice President Joe Biden
✅ Vice President Biden has announced that if Tehran returns to compliance with the nuclear deal, he would do so as well while working to strengthen and extend it. He has also noted that this would enable him to more effectively push back against Iran’s “destabilizing activities.”
- Foreign Policy Speech on July 11, 2019: “The historic Iran Nuclear Deal we negotiated blocked Iran from gaining nuclear weapons with inspectors on the ground, international inspectors confirming that the agreement was being kept. Yet Trump cast it aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, and raising the risk of another disastrous war in the region. If Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, I would rejoin the agreement and work with our allies to strengthen and extend it while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s destabilizing activities which under the agreement we are allowed to do and we had partners to do with us.”
- Foreign Affairs article on January 23, 2020: “The historic Iran nuclear deal that the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump rashly cast the deal aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, raising the risk of another disastrous war in the region. I’m under no illusions about the Iranian regime, which has engaged in destabilizing behavior across the Middle East, brutally cracked down on protesters at home, and unjustly detained Americans. But there is a smart way to counter the threat that Iran poses to our interests and a self-defeating way—and Trump has chosen the latter. The recent killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, removed a dangerous actor but also raised the prospect of an ever-escalating cycle of violence in the region, and it has prompted Tehran to jettison the nuclear limits established under the nuclear deal. Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal. If it does so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.”
✅✅ Vice President Biden’s campaign told NIAC Action staff that he would rescind the ban on Day 1 of his Presidency. Biden also has said that the Muslim Ban “hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool.”
- Vice President Biden’s immigration plan released on Dec. 11, 2019: He states that he will “Rescind the un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as ‘Muslim bans.’ The Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim bias hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool. Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure. It is yet another abuse of power by the Trump Administration designed to target primarily black and brown immigrants. Biden will immediately rescind the ‘Muslim bans.’”
- Facebook post on June 26, 2019: “One year ago, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban—one of this administration’s most egregious attacks on our core values. Wielding the politics of fear and intolerance by slandering entire religious communities as complicit in terrorism is wrong, and it’s not who we are.”
- Jan 2, 2020: “No American will mourn Qassem Soleimani’s passing. He deserted to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region…None of that negates the fact that this is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region…”
- Jan. 10, 2020: “Donald Trump brought us dangerously close to starting a new war with Iran without any semblance of a plan. This moment requires a leader who will be ready on day one to pick up the pieces and repair the damage Trump has caused.”
- Nov. 23, 2019: “Our hearts go out to the families of Iranian protesters who were killed this past week. Iranians, like people everywhere, have a right to protest peacefully without being brutally attacked by their own government and having the internet shut down for days. The world is watching.”
Mayor Mike Bloomberg
✅ Mayor Bloomberg’s staff told NIAC Action that he would return to compliance with the JCPOA without preconditions. After rejoining, Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign says he will seek to address “other inadequacies in the deal” in order to make it sustainable:
- In response to NIAC Action’s question on whether Mayor Bloomberg would return to the JCPOA without preconditions, the Mayor’s staff said: “Yes. Mike was initially against the Iran deal but thinks it was a mistake for President Trump to unilaterally walk away from it. While the agreement was not perfect — it did not address Iran’s ballistic-missile program, and it gave the regime political cover to step up its aggression in the region — the U.S. had an obligation to keep its word once the agreement was in place. The U.S. withdrawal has allowed Iran to abandon its own obligations under the deal, and has left the world with few tools to stop it. The first thing to do is reestablish the coalition that realized the danger of Iran marching toward a nuclear weapon. Collective pressure will be needed to change Iran’s behavior. This should be the starting point for the use of diplomacy. We should also be prepared to employ the leverage that sanctions have provided.”
- “Next, Iran must come back into compliance with the JCPOA requirements. That will require addressing the advances it is likely to make between now and next year—advances that could shrink its breakout time. After rejoining, in order for any new arrangement to be sustainable, we must also be ready to address other inadequacies in the deal, which include the need to extend fast-approaching sunset clauses, curtail Iran’s ballistic missiles, end its destabilizing regional activities and institute more intrusive international monitoring of Iranian facilities.”
✅ NIAC Action asked Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign whether he would rescind the Muslim ban and if he would commit to doing so on his first day as President. In response, the Bloomberg campaign told us that while the Mayor is not making any “first day” pledges on any policy, “Rest assured that there is no question Mike would reverse the policy swiftly.”:
- Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign staff also told NIAC Action: “President Trump’s proclamation is wrong on multiple levels. It doesn’t make the U.S. safer. It is an assault on our values and degrades our moral authority in the world. It undermines our relationships with friends and allies, and could hinder valuable cooperation on counterterrorism and other issues. It makes us a less attractive destination for immigrants from countries who aren’t on the list—and thus undercuts our competitive advantage in attracting the world’s best and brightest. It is precisely the kind of wrong-headed, un-American administration policy that Mike will undo as one of his first acts once in office.”
- On January 27th, 2020, Mayor Bloomberg tweeted: “Three years ago Trump ordered a travel ban on 7 Muslim-majority countries, kickstarting a divisive, incendiary presidency that has made Muslims and other communities feel unwelcome. What Trump doesn’t understand is that diversity is America’s great strength and always will be.”
- Jan 3, 2020: “Qassem Soleimani was a murderer with the blood of Americans on his hands. Without more information, we can only hope that the president has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country and the grave risks involved. But given his track record and his history of making reckless and impulsive decisions that undermine U.S. strategic and weaken our allies there is every reason to be deeply concerned.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
✅ Mayor Buttigieg has committed to returning to the nuclear accord, stating “I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal.” He has also supported a “parallel policy of confronting Iran’s support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record.”
- The Daily Show on April 19, 2019: “Yes, I think the Iran deal is something that we should be party to and should strengthen. We didn’t do it as a favor to Iran, we did it to reduce a nuclear threat and it’s still a good policy.”
- Foreign Policy Speech on June 11, 2019: “I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal. Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true “art of the deal” as it gets. As even this Administration repeatedly certified, it was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It has helped constrain the military threat that Iran poses to Israel and Europe without leading us down a path to another Middle Eastern war. This agreement was concluded not to do Iran a favor, but because it is in our national security interest—just as a parallel policy of confronting Iran’s support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record reflects our values and security interests.”
✅When Mayor Buttigieg was asked if he would lift the Muslim Ban early in his presidency, he answered: “of course, the Muslim ban is something that really cuts against our values and does nothing to make us safer.” He has also stated that the Muslim Ban has “distanced America from the world, undermined our State Department, harmed immigrants and visa applicants, and damaged our global credibility.”
- When asked by NIAC Action about whether he would repeal the ban on Day 1, the Buttigieg campaign pointed us to this interview with The Intercept:
Reporter: And just to be clear if you’re elected president in 2020, you come to office in January 2021, would you make lifting the Muslim ban an early priority of your presidency?
Mayor Buttigeg: “Of course, the Muslim ban is something that really cuts against our values and does nothing to make us safer. Look, I take counterterrorism and security very personally and very seriously as somebody who was in the military as an officer working on these issues and I could tell you that a blanket ban on people of a certain faith or a, you know, the fig leaf over that isn’t really you know, targeting certain countries in a way that isn’t really any better, is not making us safer and it’s also undercutting the very sense of American moral authority that we are trying or at least hoping to protect.”
- Mayor Buttigieg’s immigration platform on December 22, 2019: “The Trump administration’s policies—including the Muslim ban, budget cuts, and the public charge rule—have distanced America from the world, undermined our State Department, harmed immigrants and visa applicants, and damaged our global credibility.” He goes on to say that he would “end the Muslim Ban. Pete will immediately end this ban, which is anathema to our values as Americans.”
- Nov. 22, 2019: I applaud the bravery of the Iranian protesters and I stand with them as they once again rise up to demand change. The Iranian government must take action to improve the lives of its citizens, rather than resorting to violence and censorship to repress protests.
- Jan. 5, 2020: We still don’t know much about the president’s decision-making on Suleimani. But we do know that military efforts to defeat ISIS are now on hold. We know that Iraq’s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops. We know that our embassy in Iraq remains under fire. We are not safer.
- Jan. 7, 2020: Attacking cultural monuments in Iran would be a war crime under international laws. We are a nation of laws. We will act to keep America safe, not destroy cultural sites like the Taliban and ISIS have done. And my administration’s orders will not put our troops in legal jeopardy.
- Jan. 10, 2020: When service members are deploying into harm’s way, the president should be prepared to make a case for why they need to be there, and Congress should have the courage to cast a vote on it. It’s their duty
Representative Tulsi Gabbard
✅ Rep. Gabbard’s campaign affirmed with NIAC Action that she has committed to returning to the nuclear accord. At the June 26th debate, she said “We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it.”
- Gabbard’s campaign told NIAC Action: “Despite its limitations, the Iran deal successfully rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and we must restore it. Diplomacy is the best way to achieve lasting solutions to security crises. We must refrain from aggressive actions that could endanger the lives of U.S. troops, undermine the nuclear deal and put us on the path to war.”
- During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Tulsi Gabbard was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?”
- During the same debate, she said: “Let’s deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms’ lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn’t be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it’s so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran. We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it. It was an imperfect deal. There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.”
✅ Congresswoman Gabbard told NIAC Action that she would end the ban as President. Additionally, while in Congress, she cosponsored the NO BAN Act, which if it became law, would repeal the Ban along with similar discriminatory orders.
- The Gabbard campaign provided NIAC Action with the following quote: “Ever since President Trump put this ban in place, I’ve stood in strong opposition to it. And as President, I would lift the ban that is hurting and harming so many people, and so many families both here and in other countries around the world. Trump’s “travel ban” is supposedly for our national security. However it doesn’t do anything to make us safer because it’s not based on a legitimate threat analysis – it is instead completely arbitrary and useless.
- The campaign continued: “True to our history and values as a nation, we have served as a place of refuge to the most vulnerable in the world. We should not be putting in place a blanket ban of refugees, especially when we have actively been fueling the counterproductive regime change wars that have caused them to flee their homes in the first place. These people would much rather stay in their homes and live in peace. That’s why we must address the cause of this refugee crisis and end the destructive U.S. policy of counterproductive regime-change wars, as we’ve seen most recently in Iraq, Libya, and now in Syria.”
- Rep. Gabbard tweeted the following on the Muslim Ban’s anniversary on Jan. 26, 2018: Trump’s “travel ban” is supposedly for our national security. However it doesn’t do anything to make us safer because it’s not based on a legitimate threat analysis – it is instead completely arbitrary and useless.
- Jan. 3, 2020: “We do not seek regime change” Trump declares as he escalates his regime change war against Iran. Neocons like Graham/Bolton are cheering. To all who voted for Trump bc of his antiwar rhetoric, it’s time to realize he lied to u. Stand with me against Trump’s Iran War! #TrumpsWar
- Jan. 7, 2020: #IranAttacks on U.S. troops today brought back a flood of memories from my 2005 deployment at the height of Iraq war. Constant rocket attacks. A daily reminder of the terrible cost of war. Unimaginable suffering awaits if this escalation continues. #NoWarWithlran #IranvsUS
- Jan. 9, 2020: Trump’s war with Iran is undermining our national security and putting all Americans in greater danger. Iran is closer now to a nuclear weapon than ever before. And it’s opening the door to resurgence of ISIS/al-Qaeda. #NoWarWithIran #StandWithTulsi
- Jan. 12, 2020: Pompeo: The attack was imminent, but “we didn’t know when and we didn’t know where.” Well, if you don’t know when and if you don’t know where, that is not “imminent”. #StandWithTulsi #NoWarWithIran
- Jan. 11, 2020: My heartfelt condolences & love to the families of victims of plane “crash” in Iran. One of the great tragedies of war are unintended consequences & so-called “collateral damage.” Once hostilities begin things quickly get out of control & no one knows where it may end #NoIranWar
Senator Amy Klobuchar
✅ ➖ Sen. Klobuchar consistently voices her support for returning to the nuclear accord, along with the Paris Climate Accord. However, at times, Sen. Klobuchar has intimated that there may be preconditions on reentry beyond Iran’s return to compliance, including when she said “I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that’s something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal.” NIAC Action is seeking clarification from Klobuchar’s campaign regarding her commitment to reenter the agreement.
- When asked by the New York Times on whether she would re-enter the deal without preconditions, Sen. Klobchar stated “Senator Klobuchar has made one of her major foreign policy priorities returning to the Iran nuclear agreement while working with the other parties, the U.N. and the I.A.E.A. to strengthen the terms and conditions. As an example, she would push to extend the sunset provisions for caps on Iran’s enrichment levels and capabilities.”
- During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Amy Klobuchar was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?” During the same debate, she said “It was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment. I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that’s something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal. But the point is, Donald Trump told us when he got out of it that he was going to give us a better deal. Those were his words. And now we are a month away from the Iranians, who claim now that they’re going blow the caps on enriching uranium. And the Iranians have told us this. And so that’s where we are now. He has made us less safe than we were when he became president. So what I would do is negotiate us back into that agreement, is stand with our allies, and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done.”
- During the January 14, 2020 debate, Klobuchar stated: “We just found out today that four Republicans are joining Democrats to go to (President Trump) and say, “You must have an authorization of military force if you’re going to go to war with Iran.” That is so important because we have a situation where he got us out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, something I worked for a significant period of time. As President, I will get us back into that agreement. I will take an oath to protect and defend our constitution and I will mean it.”
✅ Senator Klobuchar’s has not committed to repealing the Muslim Ban on the campaign trail, but highlighted after the first ban that “it is irresponsible and unconscionable to exclude entire populations from seeking refuge here, simply because of where they come from or what religion they practice.” She has also co-sponsored the NO BAN Act, which would repeal the Ban and similar discriminatory orders if signed into law.
- Senator Klobuchar statement on Jan. 28, 2017: “I have long advocated for thorough vetting and have supported strong national security measures, but it is irresponsible and unconscionable to exclude entire populations from seeking refuge here, simply because of where they come from or what religion they practice. The President’s executive order is already having devastating consequences, as legal residents with green cards, refugees fleeing violence, and travelers with visas are being denied entry to the United States and some are being detained in airports. Together, lawmakers and the American people must make it clear to the President that separating families and punishing those who followed the rules is not acceptable.”
- She continued, saying “Refugees strengthen our communities. In Minnesota, we are proud to have the largest Somali, Liberian and Oromo populations in the U.S., as well as the second largest Hmong population. They are police officers and small business owners, students and teachers. They have often fled desperate and dangerous situations, and as legal workers, have been an important part of our economy and society. We cannot turn our back on them.
- Jan. 7, 2020: As we await the casualty assessment from tonight’s attacks, it is vital that we take this moment to consider any response. A full-blown war with Iran is not in the national security interest of the U.S. or allies in the region.
- Jan. 9, 2020: The House vote to require the President to come to Congress to get any authorization for military action against Iran is an important step towards Congress upholding its Constitutional duties. We must use this moment to de-escalate instead of ramping up the rhetoric towards war.
- Jan. 12, 2020: People should have the right to peacefully protest in any country, including Iran.
Senator Bernie Sanders
✅ Sen. Sanders has unequivocally committed to returning to the nuclear accord, saying “I would re-enter the agreement on day one of my presidency and then work with the P5+1 and Iran to build upon it.”
- In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations: “Yes. The agreement achieved by the US, Europe, Russia and China with Iran is one of the strongest anti-nuclear agreements ever negotiated. It prevented a war and blocked Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. I would re-enter the agreement on day one of my presidency and then work with the P5+1 and Iran to build upon it with additional measures to further block any path to a nuclear weapon, restrain Iran’s offensive actions in the region and forge a new strategic balance in the Middle East.
- A spokesperson for Sen. Sanders told Al-Monitor: “As president, Sen. Sanders would rejoin the JCPOA and would also be prepared to talk to Iran on a range of other issues, which is what Trump should’ve done instead of simply walking away. Rejoining the JCPOA would mean meeting the United States’ commitments under the agreement, and that includes sanctions relief.”
✅✅ In his response to a NIAC Action inquiry, Senator Sanders pledged to repeal the Ban on day one of his presidency and went on to say that “We are going to stand together in the struggle for justice and human rights, and we are going to end everything Trump has done to demonize Muslims.” He also commits to working with Congress to pass the NO BAN Act to guard against future discriminatory orders.
- The Sanders campaign told NIAC Action that Sanders pledged to repeal Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, Presidential Proclamation 9645) on Day One of his presidency.
- The statment went on to say, “We must speak out when we have a president and an administration who believe that “Islam hates us.” We must speak out at hate crimes and violence targeted at the Muslim community – and call it what it is – domestic terrorism. We are not going to allow Trump to divide us up. We are going to stand together in the struggle for justice and human rights, and we are going to end everything Trump has done to demonize Muslims. We will repeal President Trump’s racist and disgusting Muslim Ban on Day One of my presidency. And we will work with Congress to codify limitations on the President’s ability to restrict or suspend the entry of people or classes of people into the United States by passing the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.
- Sen. Sander’s immigration plan released on Nov. 7, 2019: “I would overturn President Trump’s racist and disgusting Muslim ban” and “work with Congress to codify limitations on the President’s ability to restrict or suspend the entry of people or classes of people into the United States by passing the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.”
- Statement on Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2018: “The Supreme Court today sided with fear, racism and xenophobia and against the American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance. The Trump administration’s travel ban was never about keeping America safe. We need only look at Trump’s own words to understand that this has always been a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to ban Muslims from entering this country. America loses when we become divided by religion, race, national origin or sexual orientation. We are stronger when we come together.”
- Nov. 19, 2019: All people have the right to protest for a better future. I call on the Iranian government to end the internet blackout and stop violence against demonstrators.
- Jan. 13, 2020: All people have the right to protest without fear of violence. I call upon the Iranian government to respect that right. The Iranian people’s future is theirs to determine, and I stand with all who seek a future of peace, dignity, and equality.
- Jan. 6, 2020: After 16 years of war in Iraq, trillions of dollars, the deaths of 4,500 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the Iraqi government is now trying to throw us out of their country. All that suffering, all that death, all that huge expenditure of money, for what?…I believe the House and the Senate must act quickly to advance legislation that reasserts Congress’s constitutional authority over war. We must prohibit any funding for offensive military force in or against Iran without authorization.
- June 14, 2019: The Gulf of Oman incident must not be used as a pretext for war with Iran. War would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world. A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional.
- May 24, 2019: I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one.
✅ Steyer public comments appear to support returning to the nuclear deal without preconditions. In conversations with NIAC Action, he has also affirmed that he would return to the deal without preconditions.
- In an Interview with The New York Times, Steyer supported reentering the Iran nuclear deal without preconditions and said “Mr. Trump has blundered his way into a potentially long-lasting conflict with Iran. Since he announced the United States’ withdrawal from the J.C.P.O.A., Iran has grown bolder. I recognize the seriousness of Iran as an adversary and the need to work with our allies to bring Iran back to the table and away from the brink of war. While the J.C.P.O.A. did not solve all problems with the Iranian regime, it did reduce the threat of a nuclear Iran. A more long-term and responsible approach to Iran would be the diplomatic route taken by the Obama administration, including re-entering the J.C.P.O.A.”
- In an interview with Vox on January 21, 2020: “We have sanctions on, so (lifting the sanctions) would have to be the give from us. We’re in the same position now. And the question is where are they and what can be redone? In a negotiation, of course, God is in the details. But people have to think, first, that you’re a partner who can be trusted. Why negotiate with someone who goes back on their word? You can’t do it. And secondly, are you in the range of reason? You can’t negotiate with someone if they’re not in the range of reason. That’s just normal stuff.”
✅✅ Mr. Steyer’s campaign staff told us “Tom Steyer has committed to repealing the Muslim ban on day 1 of his presidency.” He has stated separately that he would use his executive authorities to “end the Muslim travel ban.” He has also noted President Trump’s policies such as the Muslim Ban are “systemically attacking immigrant communities of color.”
- Mr. Steyer’s campaign staff told NIAC Action that “Tom Steyer has committed to repealing the Muslim ban on day 1 of his presidency.” Steyer’s campaign website says that he will use executive action to “end the Muslim travel ban.”
- On January 24th, 2020, Steyer tweeted: “Mr. Trump’s immigration system does not reflect America’s best values. From the Muslim travel ban to the repeal of DACA to this proposal to block visas for pregnant women, he is systemically attacking immigrant communities of color.”
- Jan 8. 2020: I’m grateful that no Americans or Iraqis were harmed in last night’s missile strikes by Iran. Let’s make one thing clear: Trump created this crisis and his remarks today demonstrate, once again, that his go at it alone strategy makes our country less safe. His unwillingness to provide a clear path to a deal with Iran and come back to the negotiation table continues to put the lives of Americans at risk and will his recklessness will encourage more instability in the region.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
✅ Sen. Warren has consistently committed to returning to the nuclear deal and bringing Iran back into compliance as well.
- In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations on July 30, 2019, Sen. Warren said: “If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should return as well. If Iran is not in compliance, I will pursue strong and principled diplomacy in concert with our allies to bring both the United States and Iran back into the deal.”
- During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Warren was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question, “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?” Warren also tweeted that night, “As president, I would make sure our country gets back on the 2015 Iran Deal. We can’t afford another forever war, and I’m fighting to stop Donald Trump from dragging us into another one. #DemDebate.”
Note: Sen. Warren appears to have been the first Presidential contender to call for a return to the JCPOA, suggesting the President should do so in a committee hearing in December 2018.
✅✅ Senator Warren told us she would repeal the Muslim Ban on day one of her presidency. She also noted on the day after the Ban was instituted that “I wish I was exaggerating or that this was some sort of game, but a ban that issues religious tests and keeps refugees and immigrants from entering our country is illegal. It is unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it must be overturned.”
- The Warren campaign told NIAC Action that Sen. Warren pledged to repeal Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, Presidential Proclamation 9645) on Day One of her presidency.
- Medium post on July 11, 2019: “But while Trump may have taken the system to its most punitive extreme, his racist policies build on a broken immigration system and an enforcement infrastructure already primed for abuse…I saw it in the tears of families as they waited for their loved ones at Logan Airport in Boston on the night Trump announced his Muslim Ban.” In the same post, which outlined her entire immigration policy, she went on to say that “I’ll reverse Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban on my first day in office.”
- Speech on Senate Floor on January 28, 2017: “On Friday Night, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that strikes at the very heart of our democracy. I wish I was exaggerating or that this was some sort of game, but a ban that issues religious tests and keep refugees and immigrants from entering our country is illegal. It is unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it must be overturned.”
- Jan. 20, 2020: Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight. His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies.
- June 21, 2019: It’s not enough to say that we don’t want conflict—we must make one less likely. Congress must make clear that war with Iran is not authorized. We should work with our allies to deescalate tensions and create space for diplomacy. We can’t afford another forever war.
- Nov. 22, 2019: Iranians have taken to the streets to protest corruption and authoritarianism. This struggle must ultimately be fought and won by the people of Iran, but we support their demand for dignity, freedom to connect to the outside world, and right to peacefully demonstrate.
- Jan. 2, 2020: Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.
- Jan. 3, 2020: We’re on the brink of yet another war in the Middle East—one that would be devastating in terms of lives lost and resources wasted. We’re not here by accident. We’re here because a reckless president, his allies, and his administration have spent years pushing us here. Donald Trump ripped up an Iran nuclear deal that was working. He’s repeatedly escalated tensions. Now he’s assassinated a senior foreign military official. He’s been marching toward war with Iran since his first days in office—but the American people won’t stand for it.
- Jan. 13, 2020: I support the right of the people of Iran to peacefully protest against their corrupt government. But this isn’t about us. We should support them, including by lifting the Muslim Ban—not try to engineer regime change or recklessly risk a war.
✅ Mr. Yang has announced that it was a mistake to withdraw from the nuclear deal and that he would rejoin the agreement as President. However, he also said that the U.S. should “renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don’t make as much sense,’ potentially muddling his position.
- Interview with WBUR, Boston’s NPR station: “I think it was a mistake that we withdrew from the agreement to try and have them tamp down their nuclear development in return for various economic considerations. I would rejoin that agreement, which is multilateral. There are other countries that are actually still in that agreement with Iran that have been waiting for us to rejoin.”
In the July 31, 2019 Democratic debate, Mr. Yang said “I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they’re responding to the fact that we pulled out of (the nuclear) agreement. And it wasn’t just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We’d have to try and reenter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don’t make as much sense. But I’ve signed a pledge to end the forever wars…I would bring the troops home, I would de-escalate tensions with Iran, and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.”
✅Mr. Yang has stated that he would “reverse the travel ban very early on” in his presidency, citing that it does not make us safer and instead “amplifies xenophobia.”
- Mr. Yang’s campaign platform does not address the Muslim Ban, but in an interview with the Washington Post on Oct. 21, 2019 he said: “I would reverse the travel ban very early on because restricting travel doesn’t make Americans any safer. All it does is cut us off from various people and countries, increasing mistrust. It’s counterproductive and it many ways not even designed to make us safer, but rather to amplify xenophobia.”
- Jan. 2, 2020: War with Iran is the last thing we need and is not the will of the American people. We should be acting to deescalate tensions and protect our people in the region. I have signed a pledge to end the Forever Wars. Our Constitution says that it is the power of Congress to declare war. I would repeal the AUMF and restore the historical balance between Congress and the Executive branch concerning military action. We have been in a constant state of armed conflict for 19 years at a disastrous cost to both our people and our resources. This must end. Our Constitution says that it is the power of Congress to declare war. I would repeal the AUMF and restore the historical balance between Congress and the Executive branch concerning military action.
Candidates included in this tracker were polling at 1% or higher in 538’s aggregate polling tracker on January 28, 2020.